People used to judge Tanya Angus and assume that she was wheelchair-bound because she didn't have the discipline to lose weight. The truth of the matter is Tanya had a rare and dangerous disease known as acromegaly, or gigantism, that wouldn't let her stop growing. When she was a teenager, she strutted her 5'8" frame down the runway. By the time she was 20, she was over 6 feet, and on her 30th birthday, she was over 7 feet. Now at 34, Tanya, the "woman who couldn't stop growing," has died weighing over 400 pounds and measuring 7 feet, 2 inches.
After initially promising surgeries failed to remove the non-cancerous brain tumor that sat on her pituitary gland and released an inordinate amount of the growth hormone, Tanya knew that death was right around the corner. That fact, however, didn't stop her.
She went on TV shows, spoke to the press, started a website, and generally got the word out about her disease. She spoke with people from 60 different countries about how to get help for acromegaly despite suffering from intense growing pains and a painfully swollen face.
Her mother has decided to keep Tanya's website going and has vowed to continue to correspond with others struggling with the disease. Tanya was an inspiration to a lot of people, and it's fitting that her mother would honor her daughter's legacy by maintaining the work that her daughter's already done.
If Tanya will be remembered as the woman who couldn't stop growing, may her mother advance that legacy by furthering the growth, the support, and the altruism of Tanya's outreach programs.
Bittersweet -- watch Tanya back in September after a seemingly successful surgery: